Past, present Twins honor Minnesota native Prince

Target Field lit up purple in tribute to music icon

Past, present Twins honor Minnesota native Prince

MILWAUKEE -- When Torii Hunter rejoined the Twins last season, one of the first things he did was pick a theme song for the team.

Hunter, who had previously played in Minnesota from 1997-2007, naturally went with Minnesota native Prince's song "Little Red Corvette." He had his rookie teammates sing the song on every bus ride throughout the season, and also had them perform it in the clubhouse for the "Torii Awards," given out at the end of the season.

So when the Twins opened the clubhouse after Thursday's 8-1 win over the Brewers, "Little Red Corvette" was blaring on the speakers in honor of the music icon. Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, died at his home in Chanhassen, Minn. at the age of 57 on Thursday.

"You certainly don't like to hear news like that come across the wire," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, a St. Paul native. "He means a lot to a lot of people around the world, and not just Minnesota. I think we all listened to 'Purple Rain' and watched the movie that was filmed in Minneapolis. His song was kind of our theme song last year, and they're playing it today."

The Twins also honored Prince by lighting up Target Field in purple and changed their Twitter account's color scheme to purple, as well. The club tweeted a photo saying it was "fitting that it's raining in Minneapolis today," showing Target Field with purple lighting and a tribute to Prince on the Jumbotron. They also tweeted a video of their rookies singing "Little Red Corvette" last year.

"He made everybody sing 'Little Red Corvette,'" Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. "It was our theme song last year. Everybody had to go through that. But I know a lot of his songs, so I hate to see that news. I know people in Minnesota are pretty upset with this."

Prince's legacy can still be heard at Target Field, as the Twins play the song "Let's Go Crazy" when a Twins player hits a homer, and their victory song after games is Prince's "Partyman."

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, who, like Molitor, grew up St. Paul, said he never met Prince but was saddened by the news.

"I'm proud that he's from there," Mauer said. "Every Minnesotan takes credit."

Former Twins players such as Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Roy Smalley and Hunter were among those to take to Twitter about Prince after his death. Winfield grew up in St. Paul like Mauer and Molitor.

"I am shocked to hear about the passing of a Prince," Winfield tweeted. "A fellow Minnesotan whose music impacted me for years. No more words for now."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.